Gaming body switch to EventCo starts row

Excel’s in-house organiser London EventCo is going head to head with CMP Information following the launch of two events for the computer games market.

Excel’s in-house organiser London EventCo is going head to head with CMP Information following the launch of two events for the computer games market. European Games Network (EGN) is a trade show managed on behalf of the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) and will take place alongside the first three days of Game Stars Live, a debut consumer games event planned for Excel from 1-5 September. Both shows take place at the same time as CMP’s annual gaming event ECTS at Earls Court from 1-3 September. The move caused uproar at CMP Information, where portfolio director Andy Lane accused the trade association of piracy after it withdrew its allegiance from CMP’s week-long activity around ECTS. Last year’s London Games Week in-cuded the Playstation Exper- ience and Games Developer Conference Europe. Instead, ELSPA has launched London Interactive – a week’s gaming events supported by the Mayor of London and Visit London to run alongside the two Excel shows. Lane said: “This is an organisation whose main thrust is the campaign against piracy and here they are endorsing activity one year and then copying it the next.” ELSPA director-general Roger Bennett countered: “London Interactive is about creating new events which are not apparently possible under London Games Week.” After an approach by London EventCo, Sony has now refused to commit its Playstation Experience to CMP’s London Games Week. London EventCo director Kirsty Adams said: “Our trade and consumer events have been well received and we continue to talk to all the major players about significant involvement in both shows. ECTS failed to respond to demands from ELSPA for an event that meets the needs of the industry. The association therefore came to us and we are simply getting on with developing the two shows.” Games Stars Live has the support of radio stations Capital FM and XFM, Game stores and Granada Television, which is developing a 60-minute programme around the show. European Games Network comprises conferences and workshops plus The Code Shop, an area for developers. According to CMP’s Lane ECTS will be “stepping up to the line” to compete with London EventCo.

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